What should a child aged 7 to 8 years be able to do?


Does your 7 to 8 year old’s handwriting look like this sample?

By Year 3, this is what teachers are expecting to see in 7 to 8 year old handwriting… words that have clear distinction between whether they sit above or below the line.

At this age, handwriting is all about letter size!

Between the age of 7 and 8 years, a child should be fine tuning their handwriting skills.

One key area to improve is letter legibility and this can be achieved by concentrating on letter size. By teaching them about how letters need to sit clearly on the line and have letters strokes that go above or below a line will help.

7 to 8 year old handwriting sample

This is what they should be doing by now

What happens in school at this age?

At school, your child will be learning about a variety of science, history, and geography topics. Topics include forces, magnets and electricity, Tudors and the Tudor life, Ancient Egyptians, Stone/Bronze/Iron Ages, and explorers. In geography, they will be learning about rainforests, Artic/Antarctic and hearing about countries across the world that are different from the UK.

During this time your child’s stories will be expected to have more descriptive elements. They should be creating settings, characters, and plots. A child should still be evaluating their own work including their handwriting and they are expected to be using punctuation with limited prompting.

In school, 7 to 8 year old handwriting practice will ONLY be 30 minutes a week 🙁

In Year 3, handwriting practice is often once a week lasting for a maximum of 30 minutes. This is a dramatic drop from the previous school year. It reduces your child’s opportunity to spend time mastering essential handwriting skills. They will benefit from extra time at home to tweak and improve their handwriting abilities.

Handwriting skills by now

  • Place Spaces Between Words. Has gaps between words that are not too large or too small.
  • Use Correct Letter Size. Letters that are tall or go below the line can be clearly seen.
  • Use Correct Muscle Pressure. The pencil marks are neither too light or too dark.
  • Have Neat Handwriting. All letters and words are easy to read.
  • Enjoy Writing. Finds this an easy method to communicate ideas.
  • All Letters Formed Correctly. Without any reversals or change in direction.
  • Apply Grammar Rules. Using capital letters and full stops.
  • Write Using Cursive Handwriting (joined up). Write words without taking the pen off the paper.
  • Sit Well. With their feet flat on the floor, bottom at the back of a chair and at a desk.
  • Holds The Paper. Using their non-dominant hand to stop the paper from moving.
  • 3 Fingered Pencil Grip (tripod grip). Writes using this grip and does not say their hand hurts when writing.
  • Uses One Hand. Has a preferred hand dominance.
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